It has been one year since Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas was hired by the team. In those 12 months, Rosas has overhauled the roster to the point that only two players who were under contract when he joined the franchise – Karl-Anthony Towns and Josh Okogie – are still with the Wolves today.
“Building an organization, building a foundation, the DNA and the values of who we’re going to be, I feel like we’ve done that in a very tangible way after year one,” Rosas said in a phone interview, per Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “Roster-wise, our front office staff deserves a ton of credit because as we sit here, we’ve changed over 13 out of 15 roster spots. … That typically takes organizations two to three years. That we were able to do it by the trade deadline was quite an achievement for our staff.”
Many of Minnesota’s roster changes occurred at this year’s trade deadline. And the fact that the Wolves were able to acquire D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Juan Hernangomez at that point means that the club may not have to be as active in the offseason. As Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes, that could be a good thing, given the coronavirus-related uncertainty surrounding this year’s free agent period.
“We don’t have all of our pieces,” Rosas said. “But we have a large majority of our pieces in places where we can push development, philosophy and culture to a group of players that are going to represent this organization for hopefully a long period of time.”
Here’s more from Rosas on the Wolves:
- Rosas didn’t dismiss the possibility that more roster changes could be on the way, even after the makeover that has taken place over the last year. “I yearn for the days when we can have continuity and we can keep the group together and we can grow together,” he said, according to Krawczynski. “That means we’re winning and we’re in contention and we’re in the last phase of a championship team. But until we get to that, there’s going to be change.”
- Rosas, who spoke over the weekend about the likelihood of the Timberwolves having three of the top 33 selections in this year’s draft, didn’t rule out the idea of using one or more of those picks in trades, as Hine relays. “(It’s an) opportunity to continue to build out the roster, whether it’s young players you continue to add to our talent base, or using those picks in trades to acquire players that may be more ready to help us now,” Rosas said. “It puts us in a very strong position.”
- Many new heads of basketball operations choose to put their own stamps on teams by bringing in a new head coach. However, as Krawczynski details, Rosas concluded last spring after a brief search that Ryan Saunders was the right man for the job. “I can’t say enough about Ryan in terms of not only his fit because of the philosophy, but his fit in terms of the type of person he is,” Rosas said. “We share a lot of values. We share a lot of perspectives and vision of how we want an organization to be run.”
- Rosas also recently discussed Minnesota’s desire to re-sign both Beasley and Hernangomez in restricted free agency this offseason.